David Magill Coaching Awards open for applications
The family of Belfast pole-vaulter, businessman and hotelier David Magill, working with the Mary Peters Trust, have created a new funding programme enabling young athletes to move forward in their sporting career and embark on relevant coaching courses.
The David Magill Coaching Awards offer athletes across all sports, the opportunity to take up coaching courses, helping them to develop themselves and in turn support other up and coming athletes.
David passed away in November 2021, aged 86, having made a huge contribution and impact within the worlds of business, sport, community and volunteering. He was an all-round sports person competing in cross-country, decathlon, pentathlon, and middle-distance running. David excelled in pole-vaulting becoming the 1954 Irish Youth Champion.
His widow Joan, daughters Joanne and Denise and the wider family wanted to establish a practical and enduring sporting programme as a tribute to a much-loved husband, dad and grandfather.
Joan Magill, David’s widow explains how the idea came about:
“As a young athlete in the 1950’s David had little access to full-time coaches and proper facilities and had to think up unusual and creative ways to improve and develop. He did a lot of research, read books, discussed ideas with other sports people and even resorted to sending photos by post of himself in action to champion athletes seeking their feedback and advice on grip, technique and training regimes.
“David was an admirer of Mary Peters who like him had to fight hard to access training and development opportunities and he would be thrilled that a coaching programme in his name will make a difference to current and future athletes throughout Northern Ireland.
“Back in 1954 a local sports journalist described David as ‘a young man with a big ambition’ and our family feels The David Magill Coaching Awards will play a part in helping young sports people to realise their own big ambitions, win medals and potentially reach the pinnacle of their chosen sport.”
Mary Peters Trust Chair, Barry Funston paid tribute to Joan, Joanne and Denise for their funding donation, saying, “At the Mary Peters Trust we are constantly seeking new approaches and different initiatives to help local athletes strive to compete with the best in the world.
“David and Joan Magill have been superb supporters of the Trust and its ongoing work over the years, and we’re excited to work on this new coaching programme in memory of David and look forward to welcoming the first cohort of David Magill Coaching Award winners later this year.
“We are very much indebted to the Magill family and wholeheartedly thank them for their financial donation and for all their work in establishing these new awards.”
For more information and to apply for a funding grant from the David Magill Coaching Awards go to https://marypeterstrust.org/coaching-funding-application/